History of ajegunle
The late music promoter, Jonny Nabs once said “The Chapel (Ragga Dub Chapel) is a mill where we discover and expose talented youths in Ajegunle. And we are going to stop at nothing towards ensuring that AJ City rule the world musically.”
The nation gained tremendously from the exploits of ghetto kids like Tarila Okorowanta, Junbo Awala, Mathias Enebeli, Godwin Iwelumo, Gabriel Okolosi, Emmanuel Amunike, Samson Siasia, in the world of sports. These kids who later became superstars in their own rights groomed themselves, unnoticed on the crude Navy playground decades ago. The famous playground was also to serve as the launch pad for streams of talented youngsters from Ajegunle, who have adorned the national team colors and mesmerized the soccer world to the benefit of the nation.
While the kid footballers were finding a place in the Nigerian polity, their counterparts in the music sector were also striving to stamp their arrival in the crowded Nigerian entertainment scene. Aside singers and talented instrumentalists that rose from the grass of Ajegunle ghettos, the city is also famous for producing some of the country’s finest broadcasters and disc-jockeys.
They include disc-jockeys like ace broadcaster, Patrick Oke, Master Lee, Stagger Lee, Silver Oforgo, Steve Kadiri and others that became house-hold names, they organised dance and musical competitions in popular night clubs such as Combo Hotel, Blue Horse and even in school premises.
At that time reggae and pop music were the most popular among the youths. For you to become a successful disc-jockey, you must be able to rap, toast and dance. With time, came the emergence of back street groups such as Junior and Pretty, Busy Pretty Boys, whose shinning lights were Daddy Showkey, Daddy Fresh and Pretty.
These groups of two or three youngsters enveloped the city and its environs with entertainment at several events and fun places.
The most significant leap came in the early 1990s and the catalyst was the renowned disc jockey and music promoter, John Nabena, fondly called Jonny Nabs. He established a music centre, which was named the Ragga Dub Chapel (RDC), for the talented youths of Ajegunle to evolve and showcase their brand of music. The music centre became the most popular spot for the discovery of reggae and hip-hop artistes from far and within Ajegunle City.
The late music promoter, Jonny Nabs once said “the Chapel is a mill where we discover and expose talented youths in Ajegunle. And we are going to stop at nothing towards ensuring that AJ City rule the world musically.”
Commenting on the issue, a renowned music producer and musician John Oboh, fondly called Mighty Mouse, observed that the emergence of new acts like African China, Danfo Drivers, Raymond King, Rayan T and others has redirected the style of Ajegunle music. He further revealed that the music has shifted gear from slangs and disjointed jargons to what is now described as Ajegunle pidgin English language. Much more, the lyrical contents are now made socially relevant and meaningful.
In the same vein, award-winning music producer, Nelson Brown, who discovered the famous Plantashun Boiz, remarked that Ajegunle has remained the heartbeat of the nation’s entertainment industry.
Hear him: “It is on record that the best disc-jockeys and dancers are from Ajegunle. I’m very optimistic about the evolution in Ajegunle of recent, however the foray of new and fresh acts like Marvelous Benjy, Jogodo, Adaz, B’Clean, Danfo Drivers, African China and Don Blaze among other talented young stars, is now viewed as a thoroughly refreshing fillip to the pedigree of Ajegunle ghetto”.
With the likes of Marvelous Benjy, Jogodo, Macaroni, Nico Gravity, B’Clean-self acclaimed ghetto president, Adaz, DonBlaze and Rayan T, winning honours and accolades within and outside the shores of Nigeria, music critic Deltaman has this to say ‘Any people wey not fit spend enough for the poor, no go fit spend enough to protect the rich, if you think say poverty na poor people problem, u better think again…….’
Put what he is saying another way we have a saying that ‘The poor cannot sleep because they are hungry and the rich cannot sleep because the poor are awake’.